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A Collection of Emblemes

Ancient and Moderne: Quickened VVith Metricall Illvstrations, both Morall and Divine: And disposed into Lotteries, That Instruction, and Good Counsell, may bee furthered by an Honest and Pleasant Recreation. By George Wither

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TO THE MOST ILLVSTRIOVS Princesse, FRANCIS, Dutchesse Dowager of Richmond, and Lennox, &c.
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TO THE MOST ILLVSTRIOVS Princesse, FRANCIS, Dutchesse Dowager of Richmond, and Lennox, &c.

Fame sayes (great Princesse) that the Pow'rs-above,
Will soone forgive; which, I desire to prove:
For, I am guiltie of a Venial-sinne
Against your Grace; and, have remain'd therein
Without an Absolution, so long time,
That, now, my Conscience checks me for the Crime;
And, to reprove me for it, will not cease
Till I have, someway, sought to make my Peace.
To palliate my Fault, I could produce
Enough, perhaps, to stand for an Excuse.
But, when I mind what Favours, and what Fame
I might have purchased unto my Name,
(By taking Courage, to have done my best)
I dare not make Excuses; but, request
Your pardon, rather, and, that some Oblation
May gaine my Person, future acceptation.
To that intent, this humble Offring, here,
Within your gracious presence, doth appeare,
And, that it may the more content your eye,
Well-graven Figures, help to beautifie
My lowly Gift: And, vailed are in these,
A Treasury of Golden Sentences;
By my well-meaning Muse, interpreted,
That, with your Name, their Morals may be spread
And scattred, Largesse-like, (at your commanding)
To helpe inrich the Poore in Vnderstanding.
If Yov accept the Tender, I shall know,
Your Grace is pleased with your Servant, so,
As, that there may be hope, my future Actions,
Will give the more contenting Satisfactions:
And, your Encouragements, my Pow'rs may raise,
To make the Beavties of your Later dayes;
More glorious, far, than your fresh Yovth's perfection,
Though, knowne to be, the Load-stone of Affection.
For, like the loving Tvrtle, you have stood
So constant, in your vowed Widdow-hood;
So strictly, kept a solitarie state;
So faithfull beene, to your deceased Mate;
So firmly true, and truly kinde, to them,
Which are the Branches of his Princely-stemme;
And, personated in so high a Straine,
The parts of Honovr; that, my rusticke vaine,
Must raised be, before it can ascend
To say, how much, your Fame, doth you commend.
Yet, if these Lines, (or, that they Vsher in)
For me, some Passage may, anew, begin
To your Esteeme; I, may so happily,
Illustrate forth, the Golden-History


Of those Affections, which within your Brest,
Have to the world remained unexprest.
That, future times, to your applause may reade,
The matchlesse Paterne of a Widdowed-bed,
Which you have drawne, for those to imitate
Who can; and, for the rest to wonder at.
For, what (thereto) yet wanteth, in my Muse,
Your Grace, as my Minerva, may infuse.
Nor, will it be in vaine, to shew the worth
Of those Perfections, truly blazed forth,
Which you may personate: Nor, shall it be
To your Content unusefull, when you see
The Best part of your selfe, (as in a Glasse)
Disclosed, and set up, before your Grace,
To represent those Beauties, wherein lurkes,
More sweetnesse, than in Picture-drawers Workes;
And shew, how temp'rall Glories, and Affections,
Have hourely ripened you, for those Perfections
That, make Immortall; and, which are that End,
Whereto, all Earthly Graces, ought to tend.
Then, if your Excellence, desire to heare,
Those Mvses, honour you, whose prayses are
Attending Vertue; and, shall please to live
That Life of Glory, which my Verse can give;
Your Graces favour, (when you please) hath pow'rs
To make both Mee, and all my Muses yours.
And, wee are hopefull, that, so well wee know
Your Merits, and those Duties, which wee owe,
That, wee shall raise, your Honovr's Trophies high,
Though, Wee our selves, upon the pavement lie.
Thus, I have made mine Offring; and I stand
Attending, now, to kisse your Graces hand.
Your GRACES in all humilitie. Geo: Wither.